Speed at wide receiver is something the Bengals wanted to get more of this offseason, and for good reason.
For one, it's what offensive coordinator Hue Jackson likes to have. Having someone who can get deep and stretch the field is critical to a successful offense. It gives receivers and running backs more room to operate when defensive backs need to run 20+ yards down the field to make sure they're not getting beat deep.
Cincinnati didn't have much of that last year outside of A.J. Green. Bengals receivers had just 14 catches for 20+ yards in 2014, and eight of them came from Green. How much of this was due to a lack of speed?
Arif Hasan of Vikings Journal did an intriguing study of every NFL team's receivers and their average speed based on 40-yard dash times. Unfortunately for the Bengals, they land near the bottom of the average 40 times for each team.
Bengals receivers ran a 4.5 average in their best 40-yard dash time. No receiver taken in the first round of this year's NFL draft ran slower than a 4.45 (Devante Parker).
This study by no means truly defines players' speed on a football field, which is not always the same as speed required in a 40-yard dash. That said, Cincinnati did add a pair of wideouts this offseason who give them more speed.
Denarius Moore ran a 4.45 prior to the 2011 NFL Draft before notching 12 receptions of 20+ yards his rookie year and another 21 during his next two years in the NFL.
Mario Alford may have been drafted in the seventh round of this year's draft, but he has as much speed as anyone on the roster. That was evident during his blazing 4.25 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
There's also the fact Cincinnati will have Marvin Jones back after he missed all of 2014 with foot and ankle issues. He hauled in 10 passes of 20+ yards in 2013, behind only Green's 18.